When words are not enough to get the message across
Oops, missed a birthday - mine!

Stress Facts

StresscartoonThis month's topic of my good friend Robert Hruzek over at Middle Zone Musings' group-writing project is "What I learned from.... Stress"

Now we all know that stress is not good, it's mostly associated as a negative state of being - something to avoid. I know very well, 'cos 10 years ago I suffered a burn-out, work-related. And let me tell you: that's not very, eh, pleasant.
(image courtesy of www.ghchealth.com)

But.... stress has many other meanings. My favourite online dictionary lists 14 of them, the first one being - coincidently? - the meaning I wanted to stress here.

  1. importance or significance attached to a thing; emphasis

When you are in business, be it selling products or services, you have almost expert knowledge of the matter - at least I hope you do because your prospects/clients expect nothing less. And being the expert you know what your product/service can and cannot do.

Your prospect/client has certain expectations, certain pre-conceived ideas of the features and benefits of your product/service. It is down to you - the expert - to stress the true facts of your product:

  • In our business, supplying and installing the natural product wooden floors, we have to stress the fact that wood works, always. It will react to the changes in the 'climate' conditions in your home during the 4 different seasons.
  • We have to stress the fact that wooden floors do need regular maintenance to keep its dirt-repellent character (and at the same time we stress the fact that regular maintenance enhances the beauty of the floor)
  • We stress the fact that a new wood floor needs to acclimatise inside the house; storing it in a cold garage or damp shed is definitely not the ideal place for it.

But there is more in running a factual, based on honest information, successful business. As business owner you have to stress the fact that it is not just the sales person's responsibility to create the long-lasting relationship with your clients. You have to stress the fact that the attitude of the receptionists, the dedicated attention of the dispatch department to every single shipment, the accuracy of the invoicing by the admin department is as essential to the long-lasting relationship as the sales messages.

Teamwork250w And boy, does that also count for a one man/woman band! You don't need to have 10, 50 or a 1000 employees to stress the fact that consistency in every dealing, every snippet of information or interaction to or with your client is one of the biggest factors of a successful, sustainable business.

That's what I learned from stressing facts
(I learned a lot too during the 6 months burn-out period I experienced all those years ago: the fact was that I received different messages from different managers all stressing different points of importance - and in the end that stressed me out ;-))

Comments

Robert Hruzek

Howdy, Karin! Hey, thanks for a different take on the topic! This is an excellent example of how stress can actually be our friend. In fact, it's only when we emphasize TOO much that stress becomes the enemy, isn't it? Good one, Karin!

Sorry to hear about the overload, but very glad to see you've rebounded beautifully. Thanks for sharing a hard lesson with the rest of us this month!

Cheers!

Karin H.

Howdy to you too Robert!

I know of many examples that only when something is pointed out by others we begin to feel the stress - even if it wasn't really bothering us. Perception my friend changes when head starts to rule over heart: they say I should be stressed, so I must be stressed otherwise I'm not normal ;-)

But let my stress: I'm not stressed (just a bit for time, that's all - but that's more due to the fact that we are rather busy business wise) And the burn-out period also taught me to recognise - from miles away! - the warning signs of letting stress rule.

Karin H.

Shuaib

Howdy partners in Stress (the second kind off course)!!

Yes timely topic I think in both senses of the word!

You just have to look at the news or talk to someone on the street to get a feel of the "recession stress-cloud" that is hanging over western civilisation as we know it! (in fact maybe the Mayan calendar predicting the end of an "age" as we know it at 2012 may have some ring of truth in it - sorry I digress!)

On the other side of the coin, yes we 'experts' do not generally stress the facts enough about our products / services, due to the fact that KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) has traditionally won the long-running marketing debate against TMYTTMYS(!) (The More You Tell The More You SELL!) (sorry Karin I'm not talking about the meaning of your blog title which I understand actually stands for Keep It Simple Sweetheart In Business, and means something slightly different!).

BTW that brings me to a point: Why is this Blog not called theTMYTTMYSBusiness?!! Maybe I should set up a rival blog of that name (JOKE!)

Anyways, I am also stunned to learn that you went through a burn-out all those year ago (given how efficiently you seem to be juggling the various things that you currently do). The fact that you survived and came back stronger / and wiser is a great bit of news in the current climate where inevitablly some people have started hitting an all-time low. Perhaps you should set up another blog with your story of 10 years ago, and hopefully inspire and advise people on how they can avoid/survive the 'burnout' that many may have started facing today!

Well that is if you want another ball to juggle among the 20 or so that you are already juggling! But it would certainly be timely advice for a lot of people, the way I see things at the moment.

Cheers

Shuaib


Karin H.

Hi Shuaib!

The minute you come up with a pronounceable abbreviation of 'The more you tell, the more you sell' I will definitely juggle one extra ball in the form of blog number 8 ;-0

Karin H.

Jean Browman--Cheerful Monk

Great point of view! The message I get from all of your "stresses" is to set priorities. If you emphasize everything, then people remember nothing. People tend to remember things better if there's not too much pressure.

Karin H.

Hi Jean

You're right, if no priorities are given (or set by yourself) you seem to get flooded with information, instructions etc. No priority is no direction is no progress. And no progress can stress everyone out!

Karin H.

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